LeBron was near his best to give a 1 lead the Eastern Conference finals. Photograph: C Cox Getty Images LeBron scored 31 points, while JR Smith made eight three-pointers and added 28 to lead the Cavaliers past the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 97 Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night. Intent on bringing their first NBA title, sealed the victory with a soaring dunk the final minute. But Smith was the one who ignited the Cavaliers, going eight of 12 from three-point range. For the Hawks, it was the second straight series which they’ve lost the opening game at home. look to take command of the series Game 2 on Friday night. Teague led Atlanta with 27 points.
But the night really turned sour for the Hawks when DeMarre Carroll, their leading scorer the playoffs, went down with what appeared to be a left knee injury driving to the basket with 4 remaining. He was helped to the locker room, not putting any weight on his knee. The Cavaliers took control when Smith knocked down back-to-back threes the third quarter. outscored the Hawks 22 over the final five minutes of the third quarter and the first two minutes of the fourth. In fact, the Cavs scored the first 11 points of the final period for their biggest lead, 85.
Carroll’s injury left the crowd silence and could be a huge blow for the Hawks. Not only was he their main defender on, he has turned into offensive force the playoffs, averaging more than 17 points coming into the first Eastern Conference final Atlanta history. slowed the pace down the stretch, looking to milk the clock, and nearly squandered the big lead. Atlanta closed to 91 with about a minute remaining, but got loose from Paul Millsap out near the arc, took off down the lane uncontested and slammed Bobby Rainey Jersey home a dunk to finish off the Hawks. Smith has been a huge addition for the Cavaliers since he was acquired as part of a three-team trade with New and Oklahoma City, a player once known for his selfishness learning to work well with within the confines of a team led by. When the Cavaliers really needed Smith Game 1, he seemed to make every shot.
Looking to get off to a quick start front of their raucous home crowd, the Hawks jumped out to a nine-point lead the first quarter. Atlanta shot 61% and went to the bench with about three minutes remaining the period after picking up his second foul. The Cavs hit just 35% the opening quarter, but a dominating performance on the boards kept Atlanta from pulling away. outrebounded the Hawks 15 over the first 12 minutes, actually yanking down more offensive rebounds than Atlanta’s total output. returned the second quarter and began to take control of the offense. He scored 14 points the period on seven-of-nine shooting, taking advantage when the Hawks tried to bait him into a third foul by guarding him with smaller players. kept Brandon Myers Jersey driving to the basket but managed to avoid a lot of contact. was poised to take a lead into halftime when Tristan Thompson dunked off a slick pass from Matthew Dellavedova with four seconds remaining. But Schroder wisely let the inbounds pass roll to nearly midcourt without picking it up, which prevented the clock from starting. The second-year guard finally scooped it up, bolted into the lane, and rifled a pass to Kent Bazemore wide open the corner. He sank the jumper as the horn sounded, leaving the teams tied 51 at the break.